Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

May 20, 2009 13:00 ET

Government of Canada Partners With British Columbia First Nations to Improve Water and Wastewater Systems

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 20, 2009) - The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, today congratulated eight British Columbia First Nations on the successful completion of projects that will improve their water and wastewater systems.

"Investing in these types of projects is another example of the progress being made to improve water conditions on reserve," said Minister Strahl. "Working in partnership to ensure that First Nation communities have access to safe, clean and accessible water is a priority for our government and is essential for the health and safety of First Nation communities."

The Government is investing in projects that will provide lasting, sustainable benefits for First Nation communities and is taking decisive action to improve water conditions through the First Nations Water and Wastewater Action Plan (http://www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/ai/mr/nr/j-a2008/2-3019-eng.asp?p1=209557&p2=6293). Since 2006, the Government of Canada has worked with First Nations and other partners to reduce the number of high-risk water systems in British Columbia First Nation communities by almost 69 per cent. In spring 2006, 64 First Nations in British Columbia had high-risk water systems. As of March 31, 2009, that number has been reduced to 20.

With an investment of over $26 million by the Government of Canada, the Little Shuswap, Lower Nicola, Canoe Creek, Skidegate, Old Massett, Cook's Ferry, Takla Lake and Moricetown First Nations have recently made significant progress in upgrading their water sources and systems to provide reliable access to safe drinking water and adequate treatment facilities.

A backgrounder providing more information on the projects is available at: www.inac-ainc.gc.ca

This news release is also available on the Internet at: inac-ainc.gc.ca

Contact Information

  • INAC
    Media Relations
    819-953-1160
    or
    Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
    Nina Chiarelli
    Press Secretary
    819-997-0002
    or
    BC Region
    Valerie Barrett
    604-775-7520